New city ordinance aims to quiet noisy boaters

SEATTLE - A new city ordinance is aimed at keeping the water a little quieter for those who live on shore.

One of the biggest noise nuisance areas Seattle Harbor Patrol receives complains from is Andrews Bay near Seward Park. It's the only place you can legally anchor your boat overnight.

"That's just common sense and common courtesy. Owning a boat does not confer a special right to disturb your neighbor's peace and quiet," a concerned resident said.

The city's had an ordinance against loud engine noise, but now it has expanded to include noise that can be heard more than 300-feet, or the length of a football field, away.

Sgt. Kevin Haistings says, "We do have a few boats that want to make parts of our lake akin to Lake Havasu in Arizona, a big party zone."

"Yeah there's definitely the times when you have like 5 boats raftin' up together, and they've all got it on the same radio station," boater Dan Donovan says.

Starting today, instead of just asking noisy boaters to be polite and turn it down, this expanded ordinance gives police the tool to give violators a citation.

The ordinance lists the maximum penalty at $500.

"I think it's going to help us when we have those neighbors who don't want to comply with being good neighbors," Sgt. Haistings says.

What happens to boaters now? A homeowner will complain about boaters on the water being too loud, police come out, and because of the ordinance, Harbor Patrol can send violators to Municipal Court.